Much has already written about A.I.'s development: it was a pet project of the late Stanley Kubrick, who for years tried to get it made, without luck. You'd think he would have been able to just call up Steven Spielberg and ask, "Hey, could I have $100 million to do this?" but instead Spielberg waited for Kubrick to kick the… read more!
Movies Directed by Steven Spielberg (in alphabetical order)
Allow me to wax nostalgic for a moment – not an unusual thing to do when discussing Tintin. For I discovered the beloved graphic novels when I was a wee lad visiting my grandparents in Norway. At the local general store – they really lived in the middle of nowhere, some 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle – I… read more!
The latest Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks collaboration stars Hanks as James B. Donovan, an insurance lawyer who, in 1957, was tasked by his firm, and the US government, to defend captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (a wonderfully laconic Mark Rylance), even though Abel had already been found guilty in the court of popular opinion. Although I don't recall the film explicitly specifying this detail, five years… read more!
Enjoyable if feather-light dramatization of the life of Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a teenage con artist who, for four years in the 1960s, evaded the FBI while writing millions of dollars' worth of forged checks and posing as an airline pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer. Abagnale's story practically screamed, "This would make a great movie!" In the end, it… read more!
A half-century into his storied career, Steven Spielberg proves he still has the ability to surprise by offering us an intimate and cautiously revealing semi-autobiography. The resulting motion picture is as fun to analyze as it is to watch. Cowriting the screenplay with Tony Kushner, Spielberg rechristens his own family the Fabelmans, with budding young artist Steven here called Sammy,… read more!
For 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were famously inspired by the cheesy action serials from the 1930s. Had the Indiana Jones films followed the format of those serials, and come out with a new installment once or twice a year, Crystal Skull might have been a fairly decent entry in the series. But after… read more!
Spielberg's epic portrait of Abraham Lincoln focuses primarily on January 1865, shortly after Lincoln's reelection and during his feverish attempt to pass the 13th Amendment, which would formally abolish slavery in the United States, before his political opponents could stop it. This is serious history book stuff, and if Spielberg and Co. can't entirely keep their film from feeling like… read more!
Tom Cruise plays a cop in a future where murderers are caught before they can even commit the murder they're charged with. Steven Spielberg is behind the camera. With a great setup and such A-list talent, is Minority Report the "thinking man's action picture" that some critics have purported it to be? No. But it does have plenty of nifty… read more!
Good, not great, political thriller about a quintet of Jewish assassins (led by former Mossad agent Avner Kauffman, played by Australian actor Eric Bana) who have been assigned by the Israeli government to track down and kill the Palestinian men behind the kidnapping and murder of eleven Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Munich's tense set pieces alternate… read more!
Spielberg is in full-on Frank Capra mode for this entertaining but forgettable dramatization of the Pentagon Papers, and the Washington Post's role in their publication. The Pentagon Papers, in case your memory needs refreshing, was a study commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (enduringly profiled in Errol Morris's The Fog of War) in 1966 to see how Vietnam was… read more!
The year is 2045, and Columbus, Ohio has inexplicably become the largest city in the US. In its poorest neighborhood lives 18-year-old orphan Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan). Like nearly everyone else, Wade spends all day in a virtual reality platform called OASIS, which provides an escape from this bleak future world. Five years earlier, OASIS's geeky creator James Halliday (Mark… read more!
After several years of comparatively challenging filmmaking – the misfire of the last Indiana Jones movie notwithstanding – Steven Spielberg is back in the gee-whiz populist mode that marked his '80s output. That's not necessarily a bad thing. In his epic World War I fable War Horse, the director finds a canny balance between the golden-hued schmaltz of The Color… read more!
Are we all in agreement that the best things about these "aliens invade Earth" flicks are the scenes of death and destruction on a massive scale? That's why audiences will always flock to a good disaster movie: because people dig watching things go boom. (Don't tell me that Titanic is the highest-grossing film of all time just because of the… read more!
Although it's a perfectly enjoyable movie, West Side Story's failure at the box office, in spite of Steven Spielberg's imprimatur, likely comes down to the question that I had asked myself from the beginning: Why bother remaking the Oscar-winning classic? There are two answers to the above question: 1. because Spielberg wanted to, and 2. because Robert Wise's 1961 production… read more!